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Review: Time Princess - Princess Sissi Visual Novel

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The latest visual novel in the Time Princess app  shares similarities with the game's first story, Queen Marie . Both are historical narratives about royal European women who made an impact on their time period. Princess Sissi is much shorter and follows a linear story path, while Queen Marie has numerous different branches the player can take based on their decisions. I learned about Princess Sissi after someone recommended the Saban cartoon  to me about two years ago. I expected the new visual novel to be similar, yet it only contained the events that were portrayed in the show's first episode. Even though I already knew everything that was going to happen, but it was still nice to play as a character I was already familiar with. This visual novel only explores an early portion of Sissi's life before she became empress. It would have been interesting to see a second chapter about her experiences trying to rule Austria and how she struggled with trying to satisfy both side

What It Means To Be a Disney Princess in the 2020s

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The first post I wrote in this blog was called "How the Disney Princesses Stayed Modern for 80 Years."  The answer was a combination of creating new princesses to match the times along with branded promotional videos, events, and merchandise that combine the old with the new. The latest example is this year's Ultimate Princess Celebration , which is an attempt to celebrate all of the Disney Princesses, including ones that may feel outdated by today's standards, by releasing imagery that makes it look like they're all friends. This is a wonderful method of keeping some of my favorite childhood characters relevant , but it is also a shield used to cover up a darker truth that many of these characters would not be deemed acceptable by today's standards. We have reached a point in Hollywood in which traditional feminine traits are considered weak or problematic . As such, characters like Raya  are considered the only acceptable way to portray a woman in the medi

Review: Reclaiming Ryda

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Reclaiming Ryda  by Rachel Rossano  is a book I've had on my backburner for a while after I saw a recommendation for it in an author newsletter. Now that I've finally gotten around to reading it, I just wish I had done so sooner. This is the second book in the Once Upon a Duchy series  that worked just fine for me as a standalone. It is an original romance story even though the cover claims that it is based on the fairy tales  "Rapunzel" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon."  My only complaint is that it is a little longer than it needs to be, but that is a small price to pay for such a beautifully crafted love story. The book doesn't have any magic in it, which allows the plot to devote itself entirely to its characters and their relationships. Any lover of romance would be sure to devour this book. Reclaiming Ryda is a "lost princess" story that doesn't follow the traditional modern-day narrative. Ryda has no need or desire to recla

Review: Time Princess - Si-woo's Sight

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After almost a year of playing Time Princess  for fantasy and historical visual novels, I was a little disappointed that the newest one times place in modern times. It was probably long overdue considering how many different eras and cultures the game encompasses. Si-woo's Sight is a ghost story that takes place in Korea and focuses on the trials and tribulations of becoming a pop idol, a type of celebrity that is specific to Asian cultures. Depending on their contract, American pop stars typically have more freedom than idols in the respect that they don't have to follow strict rules about who they can spend time with in their private and professional lives and how many years they can perform for. This story opened my eyes to some of the problematic elements of Asia's restrictive celebrity culture. However, the supernatural elements revolving around ghosts and exorcists felt a little too similar to the game's last visual novel, Tang Dynasty Hunter . You play Si-woo'

Review: Fae's Deception

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After reading so many fairy tale adaptations , you might think I've been obsessing over the same stories again and again. Oddly enough, the fairy tale books I've read have proven to be more imaginative and diverse in content than the original  faery princess  stories that I've switched to as of late. Each one seems to have the same plot. An ordinary girl with a difficult life discovers that she is a lost princess  of a magical land that she is magically transported to, often by a handsome young man, and overcomes a number of insurmountable odds to take back her kingdom from a greedy and powerful villain. I loved the way this story was presented in Selina Fenech's Memory's Wake  trilogy , but it started to lose traction after I read another book with the same plot. Fae's Deception  by Michelle Lynn  and Melissa Craven  suffers from a similar lack of originality along with inconsistent characters that made me disinterested in reading the rest of the series. This

You Can Listen to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella Right Now!

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After a long  series of lockdowns and delays , Andrew Lloyd Webber's new Cinderella musical  finally premiered on June 25th at the Gillian Lynn Theatre in England. Being on the opposite side of the globe, I have no way of seeing this show in person, and I'm sure neither do many of you. It's time shine up your glass slippers because we're in luck! The official cast recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella  was released today, and both acts have been uploaded to the official YouTube channel in chronological order! The songs recount the complete story of this new fairy tale adaptation, which is the next best thing to seeing the actual show. I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this new version of "Cinderella" and can't wait to tell you all about. There will be a few spoilers in this post, so if you would like to avoid them, you can listen to Act 1 here and Act 2 here before reading it. The story is pretty much how I interpreted it base

Review: Kingdom of Beauty

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It's hard to get back into the fairy tale retelling grind after completing such a great original fantasy series . Some fairy tale retellings are unique, while others stick pretty closely to the original story. Kingdom of Beauty  by Deborah Grace White  fell somewhere in the middle. It was just similar enough to the original  "Beauty and the Beast"  that it suffered from a case of sameness after so many other retellings . That is not to say that it was bad or poorly written. In fact, it was quite good for the first book in a new series of fairy tale retellings . It's just very vanilla. Kingdom of Beauty  is about a girl named Felicity who lives with her eccentric father and brother, Ambrose. Ambrose is friends with a bully who forces his affections on Felicity no matter how much she rejects him. Though his name is Kurt, he is such a cookie-cutter archetype that it might as well have been Gaston. Every other chapter in the book switches to the perspective of Justin, a

We Finally Have Footage of Camila Cabello as Cinderella!

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It's been over a year  since the announcement that Camila Cabello  would be starring in a new film adaptation of "Cinderella."  After numerous delays , I am pleased to announce that the movie has finally released its first teaser  six months after its original anticipated release date. Like so many adaptations that came before it, the movie is simply titled Cinderella  and is set to release on Amazon Prime on September 3rd of this year. This 30-second teaser gives us a taste of Camila's version of Ella in the corset dress that was revealed in Entertainment Weekly's first look . Though there isn't enough time to reveal all the characters in such a short teaser, it also contains footage of Billy Porter as the first gender-neutral Fairy Godmother , and he very much looks the part. Other changes to the story are hinted at in the teaser as well, which you can watch below. The most notable change in this version of "Cinderella" is that Ella seems to have

Review: Time Princess - Tang Dynasty Hunter

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My favorite smartphone game  allowed a bit more of a break to prepare for the next visual novel, which allowed me to complete it within a week's time. Tang Dynasty Hunter is another Asian-inspired story  set in China this time instead of Japan. The little I know about Chinese mythology comes from my binge-watch of Netflix's Ashes of Love , a gorgeous fantasy drama about gods, goddesses, and mystical realms. This story had a few minor similarities in that immortal beings are spirits of inanimate objects or elements that take on human form. The Tang Dynasty is a period of Chinese history that lasted from 618 to 906 A.D.  and is considered a golden age of Chinese arts and culture. The dress-up elements of this story had some creative and exciting new hairstyles and stunning artwork. Tang Dynasty Hunter is about a demon hunter named Pei Jin, who is on a quest to help her master that got poisoned by a demon. In order to do this, Jin must find a series of magical memories from variou

These Disney Princess Movies Are Being Shot Now!

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The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of things on pause  last year, including a number of film and television productions. Now that things are slowly returning to normal, Disney is heading back into their seemingly endless grind of sequels and remakes  by resuming production on a lot of highly anticipated films that got delayed . Most of these are being shot overseas in Europe, whether due to the scenery, because they have more workable restrictions than Los Angeles or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, it looks like the live-action Little Mermaid film starring Halle Bailey  and the Enchanted  sequel nearly 15 years in the making  are finally underway. "The Little Mermaid"  is my favorite fairy tale, so I'm excited to see a new adaptation of it even though I know nothing will ever compare to the 1989 animated classic . Since this is a Disney remake  and not just any adaptation of the fairy tale, many people were concerned about whether or not Ariel would have her icon